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Everything posted by bellavista

  1. Those last two are some of the prettiest photographs you're likely to see. Thanks... Jealous...but really pleased that someone is there getting it.
  2. Originally Posted By: thursday the boys are probably having a great time now though. Yep - cashed up and surfing I'd bet. (if you're talking about the guys that ran Big Cliff)
  3. Mike, whilst they're not strictly based in the Niseko area ( they are based in Furano), Hokkaido Powder Guides are conducting avi courses in Niseko this season. They are NZMGA/IFMGA certified, or at least one of them is.
  4. Yeah, I'll go in to bat for the Aussies. Overall, I think the Australians in Niseko are very respectful of the locals and their culture. Most of the "incidents" are extremely inconsequential and are just cases of people having a good time. I've seen as many instances of Japanese people being rude as I have Australians ( few in both cases). A lot of this is IMO , the locals labelling the Australians " barbarian gaijin", when they are in fact just pissed off that they are actually there. The Australians are very sensitive to the local sentiment and from what I've seen , bend
  5. Guys, I understand that you're just trying to lighten it up but I still think it's important that threads like this have correct information in them. It seems there are a lot of people here who don't know a lot about Avi science, and they may accept the information provided here as correct and true( of course I'm not referring to your posts which are clearly jokes). But.. for many people, snowpack analysis, compression tests etc are beyond their level of expertise. Basic knowledge of some risk factors for avalanches is important for them. One of the simplest and best things a
  6. Originally Posted By: Fattwins The majority of avalanches happen on slopes that average 25 to 35 degrees. That statement is incorrect. The vast majority of avalanches occur on slopes averaging 35-45 degrees.
  7. Whilst I completely agree with GN that avies are rare in Niseko, they do occur. I've seen a ski buddy get carried into some trees over above the Hano golf course/ jackson's area. There were a number of cornice collapses in Annupuri bowls last week. All you need is a small terrain trap and you're in some trouble. For the amount of snow Niseko gets, it is very stable.There's thankfully not a lot of freeze/thaw cycling. The slopes straight off the peak are getting up toward ideal avy slope angle. If the same amounts fell in Colorado, there would be carnage. I find the avi info in
  8. Well I'm kind of losing faith in my ability to get this right. But anyway .. Maps for later tonight and Jan 1 look OK. At the moment it's dead still in the village - hopefully the wind will pickup a bit soon and turn N-W. Still hopeful (but somewhat stung by the last 24hrs.) 3 days of admin without skiing is enough for me.
  9. Should improve in Niseko tonight. Sunday - Wet snow Then moderate falls of good snow through to 4th January. There was wet snow/sleet on the hill today ( rain in the village) so high up should have gained, not lost from this.
  10. GN -Merry christmas - I've been watching that system for a few days now and the only good news is a. it will snow after the rain b. the maps are becoming more encouraging Looking at the GFS/COLA maps , the 29th/30th has changed to a slightly more optimistic situation. Even this morning there was a whole heap of moisture in front of the 540 line with the 540 line above/behind Hirafu. The recently updated maps at least have the 540 line below Hirafu. So hopefully it will be as you say wet snow/sleet. I think we're looking at rain in the village and snow on the hill. Big
  11. Agree with Toque's list but I'd add TGR's "High Life" to the list- a few years old now but a very fine film. I preferred it to Anomaly, Tangerine Dream and Lost and Found. If anyone is a fan of Jackson Hole (or just TGR ) - get "The Big One" - it's a 10 year retrospective of all TGR's films looking from a JH perspective. Great film. Tanner Hall's "Believe" is very, very good and very surprising. It's not just a jibbing movie - there's heaps of good powder, big mountain etc. It's beautifully put together. There is a Niseko segment in the main film and another in the extras.
  12. Jeff As Mamabear said, from a Japanese perspective, Niseko is the most "westernised" ski town in Japan. From my perspective it's still very Japanese and very different from an American mountain. Even more so in March. The western/Australian influx has brought lots of development and better quality apartments to the village. You will hear a lot of aussie accents , though. Again, in comparison to the US resorts,despite the development, Hirafu has a "funky" and different feel. Snow in March - I've only spent time in Niseko in early March in 2005 and 2007 ( other years Dec/Jan/Feb).
  13. Just came across this over at TGR Attaching an Avalung to a non-BD Pack Looks easy. I particularly like the zip-tie option. I still really rate the BD Avalung packs - but this DIY option beats wearing an avalung and a pack separately.
  14. Yeah , agree that having an avalung on its own means you can change packs easily. The only problem is .. I never used an avalung until it was incorporated into a pack. I'm not sure whether I was put off by the look (which is a poor reason) or that the combo looked cumbersome, but I couldn't quite get there ...I know lots of others who were the same. I guess that time also coincided with the early Avalung years when it was pretty much an unknown entity. Now, i've got the avalung, which I think is good. It still feels a bit odd having this mouthpiece in the corner of your eye. I must c
  15. Guys A word of caution - He's a 64kg intermediate. Cranking up to 10 may not be the best next step. Markers , as I'm sure everyone knows, are anecdotally reported to prerelease more than other brands. I carry a pretty significant permanent injury that happened when I was on some Markers that I had cranked right up. Not sure if the bindings caused it but I sure as hell didn't release. If I could have my time again - I'd have left them on 9. (and I'm a lot heavier than KOM)
  16. This is very sad - made worse by the probability that he would have been fine if he had a partner. Link below is not a bad resource for Non-Avalanche Related Snow Immersion Deaths http://www.treewelldeepsnowsafety.com/index.html
  17. NPM It's a nice looking pack but I'm not a boarder. It's also 28+ litres , which is more than I use. At 24,000Yen , it's an expensive pack.
  18. I'm a bit of a pack junkie. Obviously I haven't tried all of them but my input on the ones i've used, FWIW Dakine - Helipro and Helipack Great packs. I've heard a lot of people criticise the quality of Dakine gear but I've found them to be very durable. They are comfortable and have a good robust carrying system which I find best using a diagonal carry. Probably the best value IMHO. Black Diamond Covert with Avalung Great pack if you want an avalung. Expensive but eliminates the"geeky" look of the avalung. Pockets are designed for BD shovels for perfect fit. BTW the BD De
  19. Originally Posted By: thursday Number 2 sucks too as it has no snow making facilities and they are totally dependant on overseas visitors. I think tongue is firmly in cheek.
  20. These few links might help. Full list of import tariffs - http://www.customs.go.jp/english/tariff/2007_4/index.htm Explanation of tariffs - http://www.customs.go.jp/english/summary/tariff.htm You can look up pretty well everything. It would seem to me that your mountainbike should have been duty free(so maybe there are other vagaries). Skis and bindings - no duty. Ski boots are taxed. Transceivers - no duty. Clothing /backpacks - variable. Shovels -no duty. Probes - no duty ( I think)
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